By Neil Halligan
Ebrahim Al-Khuzam named as official national carrier's new CEO after Rasha Al-Roumi resigned last month.
Kuwait Airways has appointed Ebrahim Abdullah Al-Khuzam as its new CEO, taking over from Rasha Al-Roumi, who resigned last month.
Formerly MD of AREF Investment Group KSCC, advisor to the chairman of Kuwait Finance House and GM of telco Zain, Al-Khuzam was announced one of the newly appointed board members of Kuwait Airways in the wake of Al-Roumi's resignation, and will now take on the additional role and duties of the CEO, the national carrier confirmed.
Al-Roumi resigned as CEO in April, citing "lack of government backing" and preferential treatment to other carriers in the country.
The only female airline CEO in the Arab World, Al-Roumi was appointed in 2014. She had been pursuing an ambitious plan to turn around one of the Middle East's oldest carriers, after two decades of tumbling profits left its owners considering selling off the airline.
In a heated letter announcing her resignation, Al-Roumi said the government had refused to honour a $1.9 billion (KD 600 million) payment it had had earlier pledged to, and provided preferential treatment to another domestic competitor, according to the Kuwait Times.
One of Al-Khuzam's first duties will be to carry out an assessment and review of the airline's five-year strategic plan - “Transformation Plan” - that was announced in September 2016.
"I would also like to acknowledge all the good work that our management and employees have achieved in recent times, as we look to position the official national carrier of Kuwait back in its rightful place – as one of the key airlines in the region," Al-Khuzam said.
“While it will be my job to assess the progress Kuwait Airways is making, with regards to the five-year ‘Transformation Plan’, I would like to assure all passengers, employees and stakeholders, that the ambitious acquisition strategy of 35 new aircraft, by 2021, and a thorough reform of the airline’s operations, commercial and service infrastructure will be a consistent guideline for taking the airline forward, over the coming years.”
Al-Khuzam’s first official engagement as CEO of Kuwait Airways was to meet with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) representatives.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
It was interesting to hear about a new CEO being appointed to Kuwait Airways. Wishing Mr. Al-Khuzam lots of luck but can’t help wondering if his ‘Transformation’ challenges would be any different to previous endeavours to ‘fix’ the ailing airline. The airline has survived for years with government ‘hand-outs’ and management teams have not succeeded in getting the airline to stand (or should I say fly) on its own.